Lying on one's resume and the case of Mitt Romney

by Matthew Stollak on Thursday, July 12, 2012

In 2001, five days after being hired at Notre Dame, George O'Leary resigned from the head coach position.  Why?  O'Leary stated he had played three years of college football and had a Master's Degree on his resume, but background checks showed it wasn't true.

Flash forward 11 years, and we have the case of former CEO of Yahoo Scott Thompson, who stepped down when it was learned he had made a false claim on his resume. Thompson claimed he received degrees in accounting and computer science from Stonehill College near Boston, but Yahoo's largest outside investor revealed earlier this month that the accounting degree was the only one he earned.

Now, we have an applicant running for one of the most important jobs in the world - President of the United States - who lied about his employment record.  In today's Boston Globe...

Romney has said he left Bain in 1999 to lead the winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, ending his role in the company. But public Securities and Exchange Commission documents filed later by Bain Capital state he remained the firm’s “sole stockholder, chairman of the board, chief executive officer, and president.”
Also, a Massachusetts financial disclosure form Romney filed in 2003 states that he still owned 100 percent of Bain Capital in 2002. And Romney’s state financial disclosure forms indicate he earned at least $100,000 as a Bain “executive” in 2001 and 2002, separate from investment earnings.
Given that O'Leary and Thompson could not retain their positions based on their resume transgressions, should Romney's fib eliminate him from consideration from the position? If a candidate lied on his resume as Romney appears to have done, would you hire him or her for your organization?  What separates Romney from O'Leary and/or Thompson?

What say you HR peeps?

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